Opened 10 years ago

Closed 4 years ago

#12073 closed defect (obsolete)

VBoxManage showvminfo --machinereadable XXX has inconsistent output format

Reported by: gsp Owned by:
Component: other Version: VirtualBox 4.2.16
Keywords: machinereadable Cc:
Guest type: all Host type: Linux


The output of VBoxManage showvminfo --machinereadable is not as easy to parse as it should.

To reproduce:

VBoxManage showvminfo --machinereadable SomeVM | less

some of the values which are integers show with quotas, some not:


most of the keywords show without quotas, some with:


some items are merged in a strange way:

Time offset=0rtcuseutc="off"

Boolean values should show without quotas to distinct them from strings:


Quotas and newlines in user-editable text should be replaced by the proper escape-sequences:

description="Multiline Description
with "quotas""

Keywords should be language-neutral (don't localize):


Please consider to make the output valid JSON, this is much easier to parse (

Change History (3)

comment:1 by Frank Mehnert, 10 years ago

Many valid points. The "merged in a strange way" is mentioned in #13176 and will be fixed in the next maintenance release.

comment:2 by Nick Hibma, 9 years ago

The problem with strings is present in descriptions ("description" and 'SnapshotDescription") in my case. The problem is that in all cases the description is dumped in raw form:


RTPrintf("description=\"%ls\"\n", description.raw());

I use some awk to process the output of showvminfo to produce bash aliases, and the eval croaks if the description contains multiple lines.

In reality everything printed as a string there should be passed through an escapifier that outputs \r\n\b\t\", etc., most notably the descriptions.

comment:3 by aeichner, 4 years ago

Resolution: obsolete
Status: newclosed
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